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Mark McIlrath
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If you're an artist, what kind of art do you make?
I am...
a film script editor (exiled).

humanist (defrocked)

child of Ilya Ivanov

Let me quote another script editor if you're in the market for someone to 'consult' on your story:

‘The world abounds with superfluous things. Why add to it?...There’s no point adding more muddle to the muddle...It’s better to destroy than create, when one fails to create but the bare essentials. Besides, is there anything so clear and right that it’s entitled to exist?...We’re stifled by words, images, sounds that have no reason to exist, that come from nowhere and are going nowhere...We critics do what we can. Our mission is to sweep away the countless abortions that try obscenely to come into the world. And you’d like to leave behind you a whole film, no less, like the lame man leaves his deformed footprint? What monstrous presumption to think that others would benefit from your squalid catalogue of mistakes.'
Carini in 8½

Add to that Friedrich Dürrenmatt:
‘..Art is an expression of freedom. Art is something personal, and what is personal can never be explained in generalities. The artist has no need of scholarship. Scholarship derives laws from what exists already; otherwise it would not be scholarship. But the laws thus established have no value for the artist, even when they are true. The artist cannot accept a law he has not discovered for himself. It is the dramatist’s activity to make drama into something objective, but he destroys the object he has created again and again, forgets it, rejects it, scorns it, re-evaluates it, all in order to make room for something new. Scholarship sees only the result; the process, which led to this result is what the dramatist cannot forget. One has to beware of those who merely assert and proclaim laws that do not exist. Aristotle’s unities do not make Greek tragedy possible; Greek tragedy allows his unities.’

So why do you want a script editor? Are you sure you know?

If you don't want to stretch yourself - if you want someone who is going to Frank Daniel or Truby you then try someone else - then neither of us need be bored.

No to silly recipes or formulas. No to flattery. No to shake downs. An opinion on your story. A discussion. Hopefully an exploration.

Twenty years of reading feature scripts - with an aversion to cliches, lazy tropes, gratuitous self-expression, and telegraphed plot lines. Don't come to me if you have rehashed something not very good the 1st, 2nd & 50th time.

For producers who want a script editor.

For writers who have funding + a producer to pay their bill (ie you are not paying out of your own pocket).

Face to face in Ireland, Berlin, Venice or Paris.
On skype.

Enthusiastic to collaborate with anyone writing documentaries, for puppets, animation, for theatre. Happy to co-write, adapt, or ghost write.

I work as a tutor with groups of writers.


venice film

'In my opinion the drama of today is in a rut and full of prejudices and conventions...When I watch these great & talented people, these high priests of a sacred art, depicting the way people eat, drink, make love...when I hear them trying to squeeze a moral out of the tritest words and emptiest scenes, when I am presented with a thousand variations on the same old thing, the same thing again & again - well, I just have to escape, I run away'.

Why should anyone be interested in listening to you - unless you can make what you have to say interesting both in what you say and how you say it?  Why should I want to spend time with your characters - in your story?

The function of dramatic structure is to orchestrate the audience's emotional experience of your story.  This is what you have to control and master.

'Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool no where but in's own house'.

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Mark McIlrath's Blog

Pay No Attention to Critics; no statue has ever been put up to a critic

When did I die?


(The quote is by Jean Sibelius by the way).

Posted on January 21, 2021 at 19:18

Walking In The Footsteps of the Dead

Anyone out there interested in the wardrobe of an old dead couple to wear for a year as a personal performance?

Probably best as a pas de deux.

Take the old pair on the voyage they never had into the C21st.

Posted on January 17, 2020 at 18:00

The Revelation of Unspoken Thought

 - Is that not the definition of Drama?

Is your skill as a dramatist the subtlety with which the undertones of thought + feeling are conveyed?

Direct statement being antithetical to our experience of what Drama is - namely a collaboration in which the spectator completes the narrative which the characters play out before him/ her. …


Posted on September 4, 2018 at 16:10

The Solipsist.

Write a Step Outline for a screenplay in 10 chapters.

1.  Memory of Things Past

Your protagonist dunking something in his/ her morning coffee.

2.  Strange Exile.

3.  The Reality of Deceit

4.  The World is Not Respectable

5.  The Wicked Animal

6.  Self-Consciousness is Murder

7.  I Rejecting Me.

8.  Choosing Delusion

9.  The Solidarity of…


Posted on July 23, 2018 at 15:24

Milton's God

Screenwriting Ex.

1. The Devil I Am.

Write a 2 - 3 page Synopsis about a Man/ Woman who finds out he's the Devil.

He doesn't want to be.  

Initially comic - think through his line of action.

What is he required to do for this 'job'.  What actions?

What are the obstacles?  How hard does he try to resist?

Can the Comedy/ Farce evolve into…


Posted on July 18, 2018 at 14:53

Comment Wall (2 comments)

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At 16:50 on January 9, 2013, MOUROT Marie-Jeanne said…

No, I did not know Paula Rego, thank you for this great discovery. I salvation of France.

At 15:59 on December 28, 2012, MOUROT Marie-Jeanne said…

Welcome Mark !!



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